Recap: FFAB Photoshoot with Richmond Barre & Cyn Kain Photography

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."

-Thoreau

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So yesterday was kind of amazing.

It wasn't amazing in that it was an easy, relaxing, or stress-free day. Actually, on the contrary: I was a total spaz, but it was an amazing day.

Way back in January I got this idea for a styled shoot to showcase Fit for a Bride to the world and drive some traffic to my blog. In February, I emailed Cynthia asking for advice on coordinating this type of event, and then, yesterday, after two months of preparation, I was side-by-side with Mrs. Kain, makin' it happen! #Amazing.

The concept was "Meet me at the Barre," and it was meant as a healthy twist on a traditionally unhealthy wedding event-- the bachelorette party. Cynthia suggested barre and coordinated with Ashely, owner of Richmond Barre and I was in charge of all the little details.

I found the Meet me at the Barre t-shirt from Sweaty Betty on Pinterest and the ideas snowballed from there-- I packaged the t-shirts as "invites" that the bride would essentially send to her friends to meet her at the "barre," and kick-off the bachelorette party weekend. I also bought Lululemon Run From Work backpacks as gifts to each of the bridesmaids and stuffed the bags with healthy, fun goodies like Barre energy bars and Zico coconut waters; Mane message hair ties and esos organic lip balm. The grand finale was the Kate Spade get the show on the road idiom bangle that reads "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

Even though I haven't seen the pictures, I know they're going to be amazing. Everything came together beautifully, flowed well, and the shoot was actually really fun. Cynthia invited a few girls from her Barre classes and the girls were so enthusiastic and sweet. For me, as nervous as I was to be co-coordinating the event, these girls' attitudes made all the difference in the world! They seemed to fall in love with the idea to do barre before a bachelorette party, and several of them said they thought my idea to combine weddings and fitness into a blog was just awesome!!

Granted, I can't say where the photos from the shoot will be published, or whether they will be at all; and I can't say whether this will indeed drive traffic to my blog, or whether I'll even like the way I look in the pictures (I probably won't!); but, I can say that this was a hell of a learning experience and a whole lotta fun!

The Funniest & Most Memorable Moments include: 

*Trying barre for the first time with my friends-- that happened Sunday, two days before the shoot.

*Meeting the owner of Richmond Barre, Ashley and doing the shoot in her ultra dreamy studio (it's seriously so gorgeous).

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*Hanging out with our models- some really cool Richmond girls who love barre! They truly inspired me with their gorgeous pilés and itty bitty waists! These girls were amazing-- not only at barre, but at modeling and helping styling some of the details.

*These same girls boosted my confidence in so many ways. They showered me with compliments, doting about all the little details (the invites, the lulu bags, the barre t-shirts [all of which you'll see soon!]), and one girl... she probably doesn't even remember saying it, told me she read my blog and found my story so inspiring. Thank you, Brett! That really touched my heart!

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*Having so many amazing props-- Pommery POP champagne, Kate Spade and Lululemon gear, and fancy sweaty betty tops. The details were definitely FFAB! (Haha, get it? Fit for a Bride!)

*Crafting. Phewwww! This took me back to my wedding planning days, ya'll. Packaging the t-shirts and dressing up the invites... all of it was very time-consuming, but definitely worth it in the end! I think I used every craft known to man-- washi tape, embossing powder, twine, handmade paper, stamps, and envelope templates and liners. Needless to say, I won't be needing anything from Paper Source for awhile. :-)

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*Spending the day with Ghadeer. This might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. It just confirmed why we've been friends so long! I love this girl! The conversation flowed on the way to Richmond and back (a total of 3+ hours; and it was pouring rain!) and she really calmed my nervous and kept me sane! She even got me a sweet card for encouragement. She's seriously the. best. ever. Thank you girl!

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 11.19.27 AM *The uplifting from friends and family. A lot of people knew I had this shoot coming up because I had been talking about it (stressing about it) for awhile, and yesterday morning, I was shocked by all the messages I received from friends wishing me luck! I'm seriously so blessed to have such a support network! To all of you who reached out: THANK YOU!

A few lessons and tips: 

  • *Styling takes work. There are so. many. little details. When I was emailing Cynthia in the beginning, I was very comfortable behind my computer dreaming this whole thing up! Getting out to the stores, buying all the gear, and crafting... that's a whole different story!
  • *Emailing takes work. Fit for a Bride is small and I don't get as many emails as I'm sure most bloggers do, but between regular emails, Fit for a Bride emails, and emails coordinating the shoot-- I'm totally over email! It's a lot more burdensome when you have to convey a lot of information too, and I tend to be long-winded. I know Cynthia is happy to be free of my long, detailed emails. :-) Thanks for being so patient with me, friend!
  • *These shoots take work. It looks so effortlessly beautiful on our computer screens, as we scroll through the images on Style Me Pretty or pin them on Pinterest (in a matter of seconds), but achieving that beauty takes a lot of work. This shoot didn't have a lot of details and it took about 3+ hours. I cannot imagine styling an entire wedding! In my opinion, the blog world owes planners and photographers a huge pat on the back. Their work, which makes our internet lives so gorgeous, is not for the faint of heart. (I also understand  better now why crediting images is so important. It's not cool to copy and paste and call it a day-- the people who spent time creating that image deserve credit!)
  • *Believing is not necessarily achieving. So, here's the thing. There's a lot of hype around believing an idea into existence and I'm all for that. I'm all for dreaming up the craziest most exciting future for yourself; however, know that sending an email and getting hyped up about an idea is a lot different than actually executing that idea. Truth be told: I was in way over my head on this one. Like I said, it was exciting to email Cynthia and brainstorm this idea, but actually doing it-- yea, that was a lot harder and a lot more expensive.
  • *You're going to be afraid. Very afraid. I had several breakdowns preparing for this event (it was kind of like a mini-wedding). Most of them occured the weekend before because I felt like I was running out of time. It helped to have a few friends in the know who could keep me calm. My husband deserves an award for all the pep talks he provided. I'm seriously the luckiest woman in the world to have him-- he's in my corner no matter what. And I know my corner is a crazy place with big (expensive) ideas! Thank you hunny!
  • *Yea, about being afraid. I was literally shaking when we got to the studio. Everyone was nice and all, but I had to craft a little something at the last minute and at one point, I realized my hands were shaking. I was able to pull through and make what I needed, but woa, you don't realize how nervous you get when people are counting on you!
  • *Fitness shoots are a little different. (Think awkward positions and tight clothing.) When I got into my outfit for the shoot, which was leggings from Target and a fitted top from Old Navy, I realized, wow, I never dress like this! Growing up overweight, my mom always taught me tight and loose or loose and tight; never tight on tight! I wanted to look the part so I went with it, but that was scary (and now, waiting for the pictures is kind of scary too)! I'm proud of myself for putting myself out there, though.

And, really, at the end of the day, even though I can't say what will come of this shoot, I can say that I'm really proud of myself. It's hard to take accept compliments sometimes and give ourselves credit (I'm honestly really bad at it, always like "stop, no!"), but with this, I think I owe myself a pat on the back. Good job, self!! Ya did it!! :)

With that, cheers to it being over!!!

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Have you ever been involved in a styled shoot? 

Would you consider doing barre as part of your bachelorette party festivities?